November 19, 2009
Venture Fourth Intensive Two
Thursday Afternoon Mudra Meditation

(This tape not yet corrected by Barbara and Aaron)

Keywords: mudra meditation

Aaron: I am Aaron.

I first was introduced to a related practice well over 1000 years ago. It was in a monastery akin to the Tibetan tradition, Bon, in that part of the world. I met a similar practice in Hinduism, and a similar practice in various native traditions in South America. So this practice does not relate to any one spiritual tradition.

I introduced it to Barbara 20 years ago as a way of working with supporting the opening of body energy and the meridians, the energy meridians of the body, of introducing her to the energy meridians and helping her experience them, and helping to support the opening of them.

If you have an intention to not react with fear in a certain situation and yet when that situation arises, the energy field contracts and fear arises because the conditions are still present for fear to arise, it's helpful to note, "fear, fear" and simply to hold space for it. But sometimes even though you are holding the space for it, the conditions keep arising; they are not yet released or purified.

You can work with such practices as the Seven Branch Prayer, that's helpful. But another very supportive way to work with such habitual patterning is to go directly into the body and see where the body is contracted and literally holding the karma of those old circumstances, and to release it in that way. As the body energy field opens and creates new open channels of energy, the whole body starts to respond in a different way to the same catalyst.

As example, I use Barbara here and her discomfort with large spiders, and even small spiders. She is sitting with the highest intention to be loving to all beings, to do no harm. She feels a tickling on her hand, looks down, and there's a big spider walking across her hand. "Oh!" She tenses up. She's gotten beyond the point where she slaps at it. She'll brush or shake it off. Then she'll go and get a container of some sort and try to trap it with the container and paper and carry it outside, but she's still shuddering, and creating separation. She recognizes this is not wholesome.

What helped her at that point were two things. Working with the Seven Branch Prayer was helpful. But even more helpful was to see that this contraction was literally rooted in the body, and to begin to feel where in the body that contraction was originating.

First I taught her the basic practice that I will teach you today; then we went on to very specific practices. For Barbara, that spider fear energy was very much in the solar plexus; the meridian that runs through the solar plexus was shut down.

There are various, many different meridians in the book. I'm going to find one specific one here...

What's helpful is, once we work with one that touches all of the chakras, the Spiritual Bathing mudra, then we can tell from that what's contracted and work specifically with one of the other mudras that helps to support opening of the closed meridian. It's not a one-time practice and it's not a fix so much as just bringing attention to what has been closed, and supporting the opening.

When Barbara worked with an appropriate mudra around the solar plexus chakra, and as she began to find more opening there, there were, I would not say specific detailed past life recall so much as little bits of memories, of fear of different sorts. One was a memory of having been an insect of some sort caught in a spider's web and feeling the spider literally plunging its jaws into the midriff and sucking out the juices, killing it, eating it.

She was able to work with that fleeting image, offering compassion to both beings, to the spider and the insect on which the spider fed. Releasing the karma both from the mind and the body, bringing balance. As there was more balance, she was more able to experience the spider that might crawl over her and just hold it out and carry it out the door without closure and contraction.

This is a simple example. Taking it a step further, if somebody is very much in your face and angry, contraction and fear comes up. You might find the heart chakra closing or the throat, any of the chakras. It's held in the body.

Our intention is to learn to respond in the world with an open heart and without contraction. In other words, to live in that state of access concentration all the time, present with arising, uncontracted. If contraction does come, taking the contraction itself as object and responding with an appropriate response.

So we find the different supports that help. As we were teaching this to others in the sangha, it was challenging because I had no guidebook to show people where these mudras were, where these points were. Barbara attempted to draw charts to my guidance but they were not very precise.

Then we came upon this book. It's put out by Shasta Abbey Press and was created by the then-abbott of the monastery, Roshi Jiyu Kennettt. She derived many of these mudras in meditation just through her own practice, and they were almost identical to all I had learned and practiced for many lifetimes, so we though that the book would be a helpful guide.

I did not use the word "mudra meditation" when I first taught this to Barbara, I borrowed that term from Roshi Jiyu Kennettt. That's as good a term as any; it doesn't matter what we call it. Mudras as I've understood them are energy movements with the hands. For example you often see pictures of the Buddha with his hands in some posture, and this is a mudra, where energy is moving through in a certain way. This practice is working with energy so it's an appropriate term; it's adequate. It doesn't matter what you call it.

But the benefit of the book is it provides us with very clear reference including these very clear close-up pictures that show the different points and the placement of the points. The book has very clear indexing so that you can look, for example, mudras classified by mental state: anger and several suggested mudras, depression and several suggested ones. Boredom, distrust, frustration, jealousy, insomnia, oversensitivity.

So after working with the original one, Spiritual Bathing mudra, one can either follow one's body and see what feels appropriate or one can look in the index: confusion, distractedness, wherever you need to go.

It also has an index by physical locations of tension. The abdomen, arm--back of, arm--front of, armpit, lower back, upper back, bladder, bowel function, breathing, buttocks, chest, circulation, digestion, ear, eye, and suggested mudras that are supportive to distortion in that area of the body.

Many different indexes are here. Mudras and meridians classified by spiritual properties: awareness, energy, equilibrium, faith, fearlessness, joy, love, protection, refreshment, reverence. So the indexing is very complete, very helpful.

What we want to do today is first, to demonstrate the Spiritual Bathing mudra and show you how to work with it both with a partner and on your own. It's helpful to work with a partner; it's not necessary, you can do these on your own.

We'll break into pairs, then, and let each partner be in both positions, what we call the active position, which is the person on whom the mudra is being done, and the support position, the person who is supporting the doing with their hands.

When you do these with a partner, the supporter is simply offering their hands for your use. They are not doing this TO you, you are always in charge; the active person is in charge. The supporter is there to support. There is specific hand placement on the charts and the supporter puts their hands as the charts indicate. But the active person, for example if the hand position indicates here at the third eye, the active person may want to move that finger a little bit. The active person knows much better than the supporter exactly where the energy needs to be, and how firm the energy--light, stronger.

So the active person is in charge, the supporter is simply supporting, using the chart and placing the hands in the appropriate place, and holding the energy there until the active person says, "Go on." If the active person does not say "Go on" and the supporter feels it's ready to go on, they may ask, "May I go on?"

There will be 2 hands touching in 2 different places. When you first put the hands out you may feel an irregularity of energy. Gradually as you sit there, and you work from a minute to 10 minutes or more in one position, the energy pulsations will come into balance. When it feels like it's in balance, either the active person will say "Go on" or the supporter will say, "May I go on?" and then you move to the next step. The active person is always in control. The supporter is simply a helper.

Roshi Jiyu Kennettt says in the book, let me see if I can find her phrasing because it's very 78.

"Your hands are the hands of God." I'm reading here from Roshi Jiyu Kennettt. "These mudras will be useless to you unless they are done with a mind of meditation. At best they will be simply a pleasant exercise in relaxation. At worst they may become a vehicle for manipulation. Most probably there will be so little effect from them that you soon conclude that they are worthless. It is the mind of meditation which gives them their efficacy and which gives you the intuitive understanding necessary to use them properly both upon yourself and with your family and friends."

And she talks a bit more about it, "But briefly I view Zen meditation as a state of mind of relaxed yet intense awareness and concentration. It is a receptive state in which awareness is expanded to include many subtle stimuli, both internal and external which would ordinarily be unnoticed. It is at the same time a state of concentration and a single-pointedness of mind, yet without the excluding or screening out property which the word concentration usually implies." In other words, pure awareness.

"This simultaneous awareness and concentration occurs in a mind which is at ease and quiet, yet bright and alert rather than trancelike or nadic. In Zen training this state of mind is first learned in formal seated zazen practice and then gradually applied to all of daily life. It is not possible to learn meditation from reading a description such as this or even from reading the best meditation instructions, it must be learned for oneself..." etc.

"Meditation is the state of mind in which these mudras should be done. You will then be intuitively aware of the clues which your body and mind are giving you about why a meridian is having tension and what you can do about it."

"Sometimes in order to learn such things it is necessary while using a mudra to concentrate in a slightly different way from that used in pure zazen. In zazen one is told neither to try to think nor to try not to think, that is neither actively to try to follow a particular line of thought nor to repress thoughts, but to simply allow all thoughts, sensations, emotions, etc, to arise and fall naturally without any conscious direction. It will sometimes occur during a mudra that something comes to mind, which is intuitively important to follow. In such a case it is sometimes good to do so, and consciously devote your attention to entering into that train of thought, image, emotion, sensation, or whatever it may be, with all of your effort. I call this 'directed concentration' rather than meditation."

"It is through meditation that you will know whether you are using the correct mudra and whether it should be modified in some way for your particular situation. Sometimes one feels these things by sensing the flowing of energy. Sometimes one sees them, sometimes one simply knows them. Each person is different in this regard, and such differences are unimportant. It is not necessary, therefore, that you feel energy flowing along the pathways diagrammed <> mudra, nor is it wise to try to visualize these pathways as a mudra is being done. What matters is that you enter into the use of the mudras in the mind of meditation and you trust yourself and Buddha, or God, or whatever name you use for That Which Is, to guide you to do what is best. It is this faith in something greater than oneself and the reverence it brings that is the other vital aspect of using the mudras of harmonization."

"One of the priests of Shasta Abbey, after doing these mudras for some time, said to Roshi Jiyu Kennett, that the only way in which he could do them was if he approached his body with utter respect, regarded his hands, which were doing it upon him, as literally the hands of God, and gave himself into these hands. This is precisely the way in which these mudras should be done, whether upon oneself or a friend. There is no manipulation either of oneself or another person. There is an absolute trust and reverence."

"You personally are not the Buddha and yet there is absolutely nothing in you which is other than the Buddha. As Roshi Jiyu Kennett said to this priest, you are not God and there is nothing in you which is not of God. It is only with this degree of reverence and faith that you as doer of the mudra can be sure of doing that which is good. It is only with this degree of reverence and faith that you as receiver of the mudra can trust to open yourself to (an other?) utterly and allow it to work deeply upon you."

"Thus the use of these mudras is ultimately a religious act and an act of deep love. An understanding of the nature which passes through the meridians will give a better insight into this. When one undertakes zazen properly, one of the effects there is to set up a subtle flow of energy in the spine, over the head, and down into the torso. For most people most of the time, this existence of this flow is unnoticed. At the time of profound religious transformation or kensho, however, this energy becomes as a great spiritual fountain flooding through the entire body and mind, overwhelming, cleansing, and transforming it. It is then that one realizes that this so-called energy is a direct and intimate part of something far greater than one's egocentric self."

"It is also not confined to the meridian <> books such as this but rather it streams into and around each of us from the Source which is incomprehensible in its love and wisdom. It radiates from each of us to all things, around us as well as back to that source which is no different from all those things around us and yet is not limited by them. In this view, the use of mudras is not a matter as it is in the Taoist approach of tonifying the deficient energy pathways and sedating the excessive ones, of tuning an instrument. It is a matter of allowing that pure love which is of the Buddha, or is the Buddha, to flow through oneself, to oneself or to another being, in absolute trust and with absolute reverence for That Which Is. It is, in other words, a sacramental act."

I'm very grateful to Roshi Jiyu Kennett for writing these words, for expressing this so clearly. I could in no way say it any more clearly. The book itself is out of print. I know Barbara sent out an email noting it was available on Amazon; where any of you able to get copies from Amazon? Yes. When the book was out of print, Barbara wrote to Shasta Abbey because she was teaching it to many people, and asked if they were going to reprint it, and they said no. She wrote again asking, "May we have permission to photocopy it and distribute it simply at the cost for photocopying?" She wrote that letter twice and received no reply, so her final decision was that it was too valuable to let it go, that she was not making a profit on it, and to simply go ahead and photocopy it to offer it at cost, and to invite the buyer to offer a donation to Shasta Abbey if they felt so moved. This is in keeping with the tradition for dhamma books. One does not need to say to Shasta Abbey, "This is a donation for a photocopy of The Book of Light," simply, "Here is a donation in appreciation for your work."

There are 3 copies of this available here and people may buy it, Barbara perhaps knows the cost of it. There probably is a card somewhere that notes the cost. These were printed by Deep Spring... In some ways this spiral bound edition is easier to use than the published version.

That said, I'm going to first ask for your questions and then those answered, to release the body to Barbara so she may demonstrate the process.

Q: Are these mudra points the same as acupuncture points?

Aaron: They're similar... Page 337, "mudra points and their notations in other energy systems." Acupuncture notation and other forms, and there's a chart that shows it. Barbara has a perhaps 18 inch tall figure that shows all the energy meridians It's useful to look at it and see the meridian lines and the dots where the specific points are.

Q: I read this and from what I recall, she said that the points here correspond <lost to background noise>

Aaron: ... the same as some other different systems, yes. I think the difference here is that in those systems, the points are sometimes used as Roshi Jiyu Kennett notes, as way to manipulate energy rather than with the sense of sacredness, participating with and holding the ever-perfect, the hands of the divine. Noting the perfection of the body and supporting the emerging of that perfection. So a very different practice when it's done to fix than when it's done to support emerging perfection.

Q: If we have a specific illness or a reason for <> the mudra meditation, how much do you have to engage in this practice to see some kind of results, or is that too fix-it?

Aaron: Can you give me an example?

Q: Like my thumb, right now, I have a trigger thumb, the tendon is swelling. So if you were to use this mudra meditation, is it reasonable to expect some healing? And if so, then how do you use this meditation for something like that?

Aaron: First, today we're going to start with the Spiritual Bathing mudra, so it will be more general. We're not focusing on the thumb, but of course the thumb is part of another meridian. When you work with the Spiritual Bathing mudra that touches all of the 12 basic organ meridians, you may encounter sensitivity, tenderness in one of them.

Then we would move on to a second mudra that works with that particularly sensitive meridian. Probably that mudra will relate to the energy in the thumb. You're not thinking about, "Oh my thumb, I want to release this," you are holding the intention for the highest healing.

It's a lot like coming before the Casa entities and holding the intention. You don't hold up the thumb and say, "My thumb hurts;" you ask for the highest healing possible for this body, and trust that they will be working where they need the work and that they see the inflammation of the thumb and part of what they'll be doing will lead to the release of what needs to be released to bring the healing that needs to be brought.

This practice holds deeply the truth that any distortion in the body has basis in the mind and in karma, so we're first relating to the healing of old mental distortions and karma and knowing as those are released, the distortion in its physical expression will follow.

I want to offer one story here of the use of this mudra that was a very powerful one for me and for Barbara. ... story about use of mudras not added to web site.

I've learned to trust these experiences. I've had a number of similar experiences with people with mudra meditation, this one perhaps being one of the most profound. I share this one simply because she's given me permission to share it with anyone for whom it would be helpful. I've learned to trust that people will not experience what they are not yet ready to experience.

It's like the Breathwork that you will do tomorrow. You move into it at a level that is appropriate for you. The intention is always, do no harm, do only good for yourself and for others. There's never any force. So one allows themselves to see what one is ready to see, to release what one is ready to release.

I say this to avoid any fear in you that something will come up in you that will overwhelm you, today or tomorrow. You will not be overwhelmed; you will be supported. You know you're in a safe environment to do this today and tomorrow to do the Breathwork, with adequate support. Trust what comes up. As Roshi Jiyu Kennett says, treat it as a sacred practice, letting you deeper into the divine, into your own divinity and into your ability to share that divinity in the world, and to heal whatever cries out to be healed.

Are there any questions?

Q: I practice jinshen for acupressure and as I sat here, my intuition said that jinshen was derived from this as a slightly distorted form, perhaps because this has the fix-it element to it. The acupressure has the distortion but this was the original practice.

Aaron: Yes, I think you're right. This was the original; this was ancient. This goes back to healing traditions that I knew 2000 and more years ago, probably 5000 years ago. The difference was that for all those years this was considered a sacred practice and then people got to know it and said, "Oh, this is a good tool by which we can fix distortions." And so it became distorted.

That's not to say it's never a useful tool. Acupressure and acupuncture can be helpful. But they bear little relationship to this practice in the depth of karmic healing. Acupuncture helps open the body energy so that there's energy flow to areas that are injured or suffering distortion, and there can be healing. But unless there's a deeper spiritual healing, that distortion may simply reoccur.

On the other hand can bring about deep release from trauma so the body does not hold it. For example, this must be 15 years ago or more, the Friday afternoon at the start of a weeklong retreat, they were setting up the meditation hall. There was a large heavy object on top of a pedestal, and there was the intention to move that object, that whole pedestal, so as to clear the room to put in seating and altar and so forth.

Barbara was there supervising the movement of furniture and how the room would be. Some people came; they didn't even touch the pedestal; they approached it. Barbara was standing next to it. Somehow the object fell off onto her foot. It broke her big toe. She was in excruciating pain and she had a 10-day retreat to lead.

One of the people at the retreat, a woman who was there that day as they were getting things set up, was a certified acupuncturist with a medical degree. She had her acupuncture materials with her. She began to work on it. I cannot say it healed immediately but it did not swell to the degree it might have swelled. The pain receded very quickly. And while it remained painful, Barbara could walk on it easily. The throbbing stopped, the swelling went down. There was an immediate relief of the symptoms and energy was flowing well into the foot to allow the bone to heal quickly. So this is an appropriate use of acupuncture, but it's not a spiritual practice, it's simply a means of healing.

Q: I can feel in my body the habit of fix-it, wanting to fix it as a body work or doing jinshen. How does one move to this different way of holding the work?

Aaron: Simply note, "Wanting to fix." Be present with that experience. Where is "wanting to fix" centered in the body? How does it feel? Bring it into your vipassana practice. Note the tension and where it's seated in the body. Bring loving attention to it. Hold a spacious container for it. Don't try to fix "wanting to fix," just hold it with love. When it goes, "attending with love" will remain.

Q: One of the times that you and I talked, Barbara was tired, the body was tired, and you put your right palm on the third eye to energize the body. Is that a type of mudra practice?

Aaron: Yes and no. I was simply, remember I was incorporated in the body so I was taking this body into which I was incorporated, drawing universal energy, and yes one could say it's a type of mudra, I was bringing energy in through the third eye and the ground, inviting energy flow into the body, helping to release the energy that was blocked in the body out of the body's fatigue. So one could say yes, it's a type of mudra. But not as we will do it today.

Q: Second question, I have seen some people do what I think is a mudra meditation or practice, and they were also using speaking sacred words, uttering sacred words or some phrases. There is a name for those and I can't think of it...

Aaron: Mantras?

Q: No, not mantras?

Aaron: Toning?

Q: No, no...

Aaron: Certain traditions hold certain phrases as sacred. It's really in the mental conditioning. If you feel that something is sacred and believe that it's sacred, then certain phrasing can help open the body energy. It's not the phrase itself, it's not the word, it's the belief in the word.

If I believe that, for common example, the crossing myself in a certain way will protect me, then at some level it will protect me because I believe it will protect me.

Q: So how is this different than mudra meditation?

Aaron: Such use of belief is based on belief. The body energy system is a real thing, an energy system. With mudra meditation we are inviting opening or balancing of the body energy system, always for the highest good and not with an intent to fix but with an intent simply to invite opening and balancing.

Q: I was looking at you, listening to you, and there seemed to be this kind of energy field around you that looked like a frosted energy field; by that I mean like looking through frosted glass, it was like that. And then all of a sudden it would (shooo!). What did I see?

Aaron: I'm not sure what you saw. I don't think it was a shift in me, I think it was a shift in your perception. Because I don't think that I opened further to the light, there already is a very big aura and light force. I think something shifted in you that allowed you to see it more fully.

Q: Aaron, did you say that physical illness is a manifestation of old mental distortions and karma?

Aaron: Mental, emotional, and karmic distortions, yes.

Q: As we work more with light, it seems to me that everything can be transmuted by that. Is that accurate?

Aaron: Yes, this is what we'll work more with in the next intensive.

Q: Can we use crystals with this mudra meditation?

Aaron: Not the first time, but once you get to know the meditation, yes. The first time I'd like you to do it without crystals. Crystals will certainly enhance the mudra meditation, especially working with them on yourself, once you know the practice. They will be very suitable. The difficulty in working with it on another person, remember you're supporting it for the active person-- are you going to use your crystal or their crystal? You have to use their crystal? And yet you may not fully harmonious with their crystal, so you may not be able to use their crystal in a skillful way. So it's more appropriate when you're working on it with yourself.

Q: Mine is not a very clear question yet, but it has to do with the held point as distinguished from the moving points. Is there a difference in how they're regarded or what they do?

Aaron: I'm not sure what you mean by held point and moving point.

Q: You hold one and then you go bing, bing, bing...

Aaron: You hold it until the energy at that point comes into balance and then you move to the next location. The movement itself is just moving the hands to the next location, you're not moving or doing anything when you move your hands other than simply moving your hands.

Q: The question's not clear... One more try. If I hold one point like this and then the other hand goes here and then here and then here (demonstrating)...

Aaron: It is still merely the movement of hands. The process of movement does not effect the body energy.

(next file, demonstration of mudra meditation)

Barbara: We're talking about the actual doing of the mudra. The supporting person is sitting on the left side of the active person for this mudra. You'll note that it talks about hand placement, and in all the instructions it will show it this way: place your right hand, place your left hand.

Everything will show on the chart. The first set of pages you got is an enlargement of the chart, which gives an even more accurate view of where the points are. Place my left hand on Y 6, that's just about here. Place my right hand on Z. It's just about here. I'm not resting my hand on her body, I just want one finger touching. So my whole hand is not resting on her, just one finger, and trying not to touch with anything else.

If L feels that my hands are not placed in the right place, she will adjust them. You've never done this before and still you'll know if the hands are in the right place. You're in tune with your own energy body, you'll feel it. I did this with P the other day to refresh my memory of it and she kept moving my hands. She had never done it before or seen it before; she knew where the hands needed to be.

I'll hold it there anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes or so, until I feel the points come into balance, until L feels the points come into balance. She's in charge. She will say "Go on." I'm not going to hold it here that long in this demonstration, I just want to show you how it's done.

When L says go ahead, you'll notice that the right hand stays on Z for this mudra, the left hand moves from Y6 to Z2. I'll hold that as long as is necessary. In step 3, the right hand stays on Z, I'm still there on Z. The left hand moves to Z7...

In step 4, again I would hold this as long as I needed to until I felt it come into balance or until L said go ahead, or both. If she hasn't said go ahead and it feels balanced, I'll ask her, "May I move on?" We're both sitting here in a meditative state, I'm not doing this, I'm simply holding the space, holding the energy for her. I remind you of the words Aaron read from Roshi Jiyu Kennett. "Your hands are the hands of God." You're in a meditative space.

If as you're holding this, you'll notice I'm resting my arm on my knee to support it. But if this hand started to get tired, if 5 or 10 minutes went by and my arm was aching, I would say, "I'm resting," just that, until the arm was relaxed again and then I would come back to it.

So never try to force it. Never try to hold it if you're in pain. Then I'd move on to step 4. The right hand stays on Z still and the left hand moves to A...

In step 5, the right hand moves down to Y. These are the chakras and half-chakras. I'm working with the crown chakra and now the third eye chakra and holding it all at this point Z at the back. Then I move down to Y and this moves down to B, and now I'm with the third chakra.

Q: Is that B in the little soft spot?

Barbara: The B, it's really just below the throat chakra, what we think of as the throat chakra, in the soft spot just above the bone. Then we move down to X. This is the half-chakra between the throat chakra and the heart in the back, and it moves down to C, just the heart.

The half-chakras are the chakras in the back that are between the main chakras. Between each 2 main chakras there's a half-chakra just in front of the spine. It's called the back chakra...

Then I move down to T4 and G, which is the solar plexus. Again, I'm with the half-chakra in the back and it's between the heart and the solar plexus...

Down to S or T and you'll feel which is right. And I move to H2, which is just about at the navel, the sacral chakra...

Then it moves down to R and the base. Ask the person to place your hand just at the pubic bone so you're not groping around trying to find the right place. Not above but on the pubic bone...

Q: Is the R the tailbone?

Barbara: R is the tailbone... When you both agree that it's sufficient, stop and both of you will want to sit in meditation for a few minutes, just offering gratitude, holding the space and energy. Then the active person will sit as long as they feel it's useful to sit.

In the very first handout, you'll find a blow-up that shows all of the touch-spots. For example, this blow-up at the back shows exactly where R is. The blow-ups show each point more carefully. You get a better sense of exactly which vertebrae are where.

Thank you, L.

Another question?

Q: For some of the spots on the back that we can't reach with our hands if we're doing this by ourselves, can we use something like a backscratcher as an extension of our hands?

Barbara: Not necessary...

Q: Like the T4 spot on the back.

Barbara: If you're doing it on your own, what you can do is to bring simply, without trying to move your hand, bring mental energy to that point. Just think the contact to that point.

If you're doing it on your own (removes mic and lies down to demonstrate) I find the best way, it's hard to rest like this and hold your hands like that. But this is very workable. I can put pillows under my arms to support them. I can keep that position for as long as I need to. Is there a cushion, zafu?

So I would rest my arm on the top like this and make it easy to hold that position. I'm very comfortable and I can hold it for as long as I need to. Then I come down, here I can't reach my back so I'm just holding this hand up, visualizing and experiencing the energy touching the back without actually doing it. Then down, and here I can bring energy to the back again, but if it's awkward then just give mental energy to it.

Q: Can this heal physical illness?

Barbara: It does not heal it, it opens the energy that blocks healing. Then the body is capable of healing itself because the body already contains the ever-perfect. Once the blockage is removed, the body can heal. Once the energetic blockage is removed, the natural inclination of the body is to heal and express its perfection if we let it.

Q: Are you using third finger? (yes) (can't follow, something about which fingers to use)

There will be more time for questions. Let's have a short break, then practice in pairs.